Eat to the Beat Concert Series Preview: 2018

Hey everyone, what’s the best part of fall at Epcot?  If you said the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, you’d be — well, in the minority, quite frankly. For most people, these free concerts that Epcot hosts during the Food & Wine Festival are essentially a diversion — more of a “hey, so-and-so-who-played-that-one-song is playing today, so maybe we should check them out,” rather than something to plan your trip around. I don’t think Disney sees an uptick in bookings from people who want to make sure they are there to watch Baha Men perform “Who Let The Dogs Out,” for example.

Hanson playing at Eat to the Beat (Photo B. Glover)

That’s not to say that the Eat to the Beat shows can’t be worthwhile. There is a pretty broad spectrum of acts this year, and while (as usual) some can best be characterized as niche acts or one-hit wonders, there are a few acts that have large enough libraries to play a legit show.

This isn’t Rolling Stone, and I’m not going to try to pass upon the relative merit of these various groups–you know your musical taste better than I do–but there are a few groups that, at least based upon the number of hits they had make the Billboard charts, have a little more gravitas. For example, there was a time when Mark McGrath was everywhere and Sugar Ray was churning out hit after hit. Similarly, Everclear and Smash Mouth both have had a decent amount of commercial success and have several songs you’ll immediately recognize. I also know several people that are legitimately excited to see the Lachey brothers and the rest of 98 Degrees do their boy band thing.

Photo B. Glover

Other relatively well-known acts to play at Eat to the Beat this year include crooners Boyz II Men, 80s pop icon Taylor Dayne, and R&B artist Billy Ocean. 38 Special isn’t exactly a rarity on the festival circuit and they’re Eat to the Beat regulars this time of year, but if you like classic rock, there’s going to be plenty of songs you’ll know. Oh yeah, and Air Supply will be making a return for those appreciating the lighter side of rock.

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox will be also be back this year. While technically a cover band, they are known for their unusual, vintage-style remakes of contemporary music. Imagine a 1920s, flapper-era cover of Dua Lipa’s “No Rules,” or a jazzy, tap-dance-friendly version of Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like,” and you’ll have a sense of what it’s like. It’s familiar, but different and unique, making it a fun act that’s well-suited for Eat to the Beat.

Also, there’s Kenny G.

Without further ado, here’s this year’s listing for the Eat to the Beat concerts, along with a few notes about each performer:

Blue October

Dates: August 30 to 31

Genre: Alternative

Songs you might actually know: “Hate Me;” “I Hope You’re Happy;” “Into the Ocean.”

Tiffany

Dates: September 1 to 3

Genre: 80s Pop

Songs you might actually know: “I Think We’re Alone Now;” “I Saw Him Standing There.”

MercyMe (New for 2018)

Dates:  September 4 to 5

Genre: Contemporary Christian

Songs you might actually know: “I Can Only Imagine;” “Word of God Speak.”

Glass Tiger (New for 2018)

September 6 to 7

Genre: 80s Pop Rock

Songs you might actually know: “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone);” “Someday.”

Tauren Wells (New for 2018)

September 8 to 9

Genre: Contemporary Christian

Songs you might actually know: “Hills & Valleys;” “When We Pray;” “Known.”

Postmodern Jukebox

Dates: September 10 to 11

Genre: Offbeat, throwback covers of modern songs

Songs you might actually know: most of them, just not in this style

Vertical Horizon (New for 2018)

Dates: September 12 to 13

Genre: 90s Pop Rock

Songs you might actually know: “Everything You Want;” “Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning);” “You’re a God.”

Baha Men

Dates: September 14 to 16

Genre: 90s Party Rap

Songs you might actually know: “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

Plain White T’s

Dates: September 17 to 19

Genre: Pop Rock

Songs you might actually know: “Hey There Delilah;” “Rhythm of Love;” “1, 2, 3, 4.”

Living Colour

Dates: September 20 to 21

Genre: Rock

Songs you might actually know: “Cult of Personality;” “Glamour Boys.”

Sheila E (New for 2018)

Dates: September 22 to 23

Genre: 80s Pop/R&B (perhaps best known as a frequent collaborator with Prince)

Songs you might actually know: ‘The Glamorous Life;” “A Love Bizarre.”

Sugar Ray

Dates: September 24 to 26

Genre: Pop Rock

Songs you might actually know: “Every Morning;” “Fly;” “Someday;” When It’s Over.”

David Cook

Dates: September 27 to 28

Genre: Pop Rock

Songs you might actually know: “The Time of My Life;” “Come Back to Me;” “Light On.”

Jeffrey Osborne

 

Dates: September 29 to 30

Genre: R&B

Songs you might actually know: “On the Wings of Love;” “You Should be Mine (The Woo Woo Song);” “She’s on the Left.”

Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts (New for 2018)

Dates: October 1 to 2

Genre: Rock/Blues

Songs you might actually know: “She Caught the Katy;” “If the House is Rockin’.”

Everclear

Dates: October 3 to 4

Genre: Alternative Rock

Songs you might actually know: “Santa Monica;” ‘Father of Mine;” “Wonderful;” “I Will Buy You a New Life; “Everything to Everyone.”

Mark Wills

Dates: October 5 to 7

Genre: Country

Songs you might actually know: “19 Somethin’;” “Wish You Were Here;” “Don’t Laugh at Me.”

Air Supply

Dates: October 8 to 10

Genre: Classic Soft Rock

Songs you might actually know: “All Out of Love;” “Making Love Out of Nothing at All;” “Lost in Love.”

Anderson East (New for 2018)

Dates: October 11 to 12

Genre: Soul/Rock/Folk

Songs you might actually know: “All on My Mind;” “What Would It Take.”

Smash Mouth

Dates: October 13 to 14

Genre: Pop Rock

Songs you might actually know: “All-Star;” “Walkin’ On the Sun;” “I’m a Believer;” “Can’t Get Enough of You Baby.”

98 Degrees (New for 2018)

 

Dates: October 15 to 16

Genre: Boy Band Pop

Songs you might actually know: “I Do (Cherish You);” “True to Your Heart;” “Invisible Man.”

38 Special

Dates: October 17 to 18

Genre: Classic Rock

Songs you might actually know: “Caught Up In You;” “Hold On Loosely;” “Back Where You Belong;” “Rockin’ Into The Night.”

The Devon Allman Project

Dates: October 19 to 21

Genre: Blues/Rock

Songs you might actually know: “Dreams;” “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

Kenny G

Dates: October 22 to 23

Genre: Instrumental Jazz

Songs you might actually know: “Songbird;” “Forever In Love;” “How Could An Angel Break My Heart.”

Billy Ocean

Dates: October 24 to 25

Genre: R&B

Songs you might actually know: “Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run);” “Get Out of My Dreams;” “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going;” “Loverboy.”

Starship featuring Mickey Thomas

Dates: October 26 to 28

Genre: 80s Rock

Songs you might actually know: “We Built This City;” “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now;” “Sara.”

Hanson

Dates: October 29 to 31

Genre: Pop

Songs you might actually know: “MMMBop;” “Save Me;” “I Will Come To You.”

High Valley (New for 2018)

Dates: November 1 to 2

Genre: Country

Songs you might actually know: “She’s With Me;” “Make You Mine.”

Taylor Dayne

Dates: November 3 to 4

Genre: 80s Pop

Songs you might actually know: “Tell it to My Heart;” “Love Will Lead You Back;” “I’ll Be Your Shelter;” “I’ll Always Love You;” “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love.”

Boyz II Men

Dates: November 5 to 7

Genre: R&B/New Jack Swing

Songs you might actually know: “End of the Road;” “I’ll Make Love to You;” “On Bended Knee;” “Motownphilly;” “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”

The Hooters

Dates: November 8 to 9

Genre: 80s Rock

Songs you might actually know: “And We Danced.”

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Dates: November 10 to 12

Genre: Neo-Swing

Songs you might actually know: “You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight;” “Go Daddy O;” “I Wanna Be Like You.”

So, are there any acts you’d consider making a special trip for? Any that are going to be there during your trip that you’re going to make sure you see? Let us know in the comments!

James Rosemergy

When not planning for or traveling to Walt Disney World with his beautiful wife and impossibly adorable daughter, James practices law in St. Louis. He also really likes cheese. He can be found on twitter at @jrtoastyman.

8 thoughts on “Eat to the Beat Concert Series Preview: 2018

  • August 13, 2018 at 12:38 pm
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    Oh how I wish they’d move PMJ to a weekend.

    • August 13, 2018 at 12:42 pm
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      Seriously. Of all the acts listed, that’s the one I’d most like to see!

      • August 13, 2018 at 1:09 pm
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        Me too! They should totally be moved to October when I’m there 😉

  • August 13, 2018 at 10:04 pm
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    Where in Ecpot is this set up? Any ideas on times?

    • August 13, 2018 at 10:11 pm
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      Yes, it’s at the American Gardens Theater at the American Pavilion, and show times are 5:30, 6:45, and 8 p.m.

      • August 14, 2018 at 7:01 am
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        Thanks!

  • August 15, 2018 at 12:05 am
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    Decent variety. If I had to pick one show, I’d go with Living Colour. Those guys have serious chops.

  • August 15, 2018 at 11:17 am
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    I changed the entire trip dates to get out of the Hanson time slot! Lol! Starship/Billy Ocean is much better!

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